Self Help, Nietzsche, and the Patriarchy

10 April 2018

How did self-help go so wrong? Philosophy Talk featured contributor David Livingstone Smith explains the atrocious politics of popular self-help guru Jordan Peterson.

If you thought self-help was supposed to stay outside the hustle-bustle of politics, you might want to take a look at this article (co-authored by John Kaag). This beautiful piece describes the links between the toxic ideas embedded (sometimes not so subtly) in Jordan Peterson's shtick.

As the title of this post suggests, Nietzsche's ideas about will to power make an appearance, alongside toxic masculinity.

Check out the article here: http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/04/04/god-is-ted-jordan-peterson-self-help-men/

Comments (6)


Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 -- 12:36 PM

I had not heard of Peterson.

I had not heard of Peterson. It is probably just as well. He sounds like a cross between Marjoe Gortner and the worst of the worst tyrants and despots one might think of. The closeted comparison to Hitler sounds pretty spot-on as well. Every few decades, someone like this emerges and some naive individuals think they have found salvation; reached nirvana; and found bliss beneath the bodhi tree. I have never bought any of this. Everyone needs to make a buck here and there and it sounds as if Mr. Peterson has found a money mine. For now. Don't get me totally wrong, though. There are things I do not agree with when it comes to modernity. But I also have a pretty good 'spider sense' when it comes to charlatans and phonies. This guy smells like rotting fish. 'nough said.

kevins411's picture

kevins411

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 -- 7:29 AM

How can you have such a

How can you have such a negative view of him if you admittedly have not even heard anything he has said or read anything he has written? People like those that wrote the article that is linked do a huge disservice to anyone that reads their work by letting their personal opinions get in the way of an honest review. Dr. Peterson has tons of followers and has helped endless numbers of people overcome problems. I highly doubt that the ability to receive almost a million dollars a year in what equate to donations, does not happen without the presence of value. To simply dismiss anything he has said because he cries when he lectures is absurd. It is ridiculous that in the same comment you can include such statements as "I had not heard of Peterson." , "The closeted comparison to Hitler sounds pretty spot-on.." , and "But I also have a pretty good 'spider sense' when it comes to charlatans and phonies. This guy smells like rotting fish. 'nough said." I disagree, that is not "nough said". Your argument has exactly ZERO factual statements, and instead is equivalent to "I don't like Dr. Peterson, so you shouldn't either (even though I have not heard, read, or watched anything he has done, just trust me)." I highly suggest you do some introspective analysis and realize that getting your opinions from the titles of left leaning articles is not good practice.

pchandler@ies-engr.com's picture

pchandler@ies-e...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 -- 1:45 PM

"How did self-help go so

"How did self-help go so wrong? Philosophy Talk featured contributor David Livingstone Smith explains the atrocious politics of popular self-help guru Jordan Peterson and the links between the toxic ideas embedded in Peterson's shtick."

Go wrong? Atrocious? Toxic? Shtick? How about we discuss the issue without the pejorative language? Agree with him or no, this is not an intellectually honest manner in which to begin the discussion. Can we start over? Or is this piece strictly an op-ed?

momookim's picture

momookim

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 -- 5:07 PM

I wrote this blog post, and I

I wrote this blog post, and I agree that I'm not trying to occupy a neutral standpoint in this post. We're not a journalist organization, but thinking of this post as closer to op-ed would be fair. I usually try to be more balanced in writing blog posts, but in this case, you're right, I let my strong feelings about Peterson shine through. I'm okay with that. Of course, I don't represent the views of the Philosophy Talk Radio Show or any of its sponsors—I only represent myself.

kevins411's picture

kevins411

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 -- 7:36 AM

I think your post is so

I think your post is so unjustified, that it can be seen as nothing but an opinion piece. To portray it as anything else would be false. The article you link to is also largely opinionated, and I doubt either you or the authors of the article you have linked to have actually done any meaningful research into Dr. Peterson's works. He has helped a huge number of people overcome their problems, he is extremely intelligent and well-educated, and the only thing that the left-wing media focuses on is misrepresenting his words, and portraying him as an "Alt-Right" white supremacist and misogynist. If everyone was as sincere as Dr. Peterson, I think the world would be a much better place. Instead, we are overrun with "victims" that can see nothing other than the imaginary oppression that they think they deal with every day. His book is great, and really speaks on how to get by in the society the left is creating; one in which emotions are quickly replacing facts. You really should do more research before attempting to condemn someone that is helping so many people. Maybe look in a mirror and ask who you have helped lately?

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Friday, April 13, 2018 -- 11:39 AM

OOPS? No, not really.

OOPS? No, not really. Obscurantism is only dangerous when it attempts to mask insidiousness All speech is free, until someone's sense of freedom is maligned.

 
 
 

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